Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka: IOM hands over 148 transitional houses to tsunami survivors

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Kallady, July 22, 2005 - The International Organization for Migration today handed over 148 transitional homes to tsunami affected families in Kallady in Trincomalee district.

The transitional accommodation will house about 600 people, and Kallady residents celebrated the event with traditional dancing and sporting activities.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, IOM's Chief of Mission in Sri Lanka, Mary Sheehan, said the homes will help tsunami-affected families regain a sense of normality in their lives.

"These houses provide families with durable accommodation, which is so important in order feel secure and stable in the wake of the tragic events of last December," said Ms Sheehan.

IOM's Trincomalee-based Project Officer, Thiyagarajah Murallidaran, said all the houses are built to a high standard and will protect their occupants when monsoon rains set in on the east coast later this year.

"All of our transitional homes provide each family with at least 200 square feet of space, as well as adequate ventilation, electricity, water, sanitation, and protection from the elements," said Murallidaran.

IOM also built a community centre at the Kallady site, as well as showers, toilets and a covered play area for children. An IOM sewing centre equipped with 12 machines provides residents with recreation and income-generating opportunities.

The organization has completed more than 2,100 transitional houses island-wide and almost 1,000 more homes are under construction. IOM has also constructed 18 temporary schools in Sri Lanka.

The temporary accommodation is designed to last up to two years while permanent housing is finalized for the 86-thousand Sri Lankan families made homeless in the tsunami.

Fore further information please contact:

Gina Wilkinson
IOM Sri Lanka
ginaw@iomsrilanka.org
+94-777-597-837

International Organization for Migration
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